Inglourious Basterds (2009)
Suck it, Valkyrie. Suck it hard. This is exactly what should have gone down in your movie. No one wants to sympathize with Nazis; Nazis fucking suck.
And so we have Inglourious Basterds, a movie that is essentially about a guerrilla outfit of Jewish American soldiers that go around killing mass amounts of Nazis in France during World War II.
There are other great sideplots and great characters that all tie in with the Basterds, but lets not kid ourselves, that brief synopsis should be enough to get your ass to the theater. Honestly, why wouldn’t you want to see this movie?
But then again, I’ll be the first to admit that I wasn’t as excited to see this as I normally would have been. It’s been a while since Tarantino has made a movie that really plays to his strengths as a screenwriter rather than as an action director. And what a a wonderful slap in the face it was to be reminded of how damn good of a writer he is; still a great director, don’t get me wrong, but Death Proof and the Kill Bills almost made me forget that part of the reason no one makes movies like Tarantino is because no one can really talk and tell a story like Tarantino.
And the best thing about this edgy, hilarious, and totally ingenious script is that it also brings out the best in all the actors. Now I’m usually not the biggest fan of Brad Pitt, but I am just about ready to take back everything negative I’ve ever put down about the guy. Sorry for calling you a pretty boy, you’ve got more range than I give you credit for, and I’ll even go revisit Twelve Monkeys one of these days and give you a second chance on that one. Brad, you freakin’ killed it in this movie as Lt. Aldo Raine, the leader of the Basterds, whuppin’ the hell out of those Nazis with a smile on your face like the badass you are. I never should have doubted you in the first place.
But like I said, the script is so damn good that it makes everyone else so damn good as well. B.J. Novak from The Office is good, there’s absolute slew of people in this movie that I’ve never heard of that are all really good, and Mike Myers has a freakin’ classic cameo in here that’s easily counts as his best contribution to the world since the first Austin Powers. That guy needed it after The Guru.
And while everyone is top-notch here, there is one performance that stands head and shoulders above the rest, and that is the role of German S.S. Colonel Hans Landa as played by this guy, Chrisoph Waltz, who I can’t believe I’ve never seen or heard of before this. He’s pretty much the main villain in the movie, even more so that Hitler and Goebbels, and it’s hard to describe what makes him such a good bad guy without seeing him for yourself. One of those utterly manipulative characters that prides himself on being evil without batting an eye to the morality of his actions, but damn if you can’t help but like the guy and contemplate the idea of grabbing a stein of beer with him. This is more than just great writing, this is clearly great acting, too. Dude had better get at least nominated for an Oscar next year.
In closing, the premise is great, the writing is great, the acting is great, and the two and a half hours fly by so fast that it’ll leave you wanting more. It’s also pretty violent, but you’ve probably gathered as much by now, you can handle it. Basterds is one of those movies you can’t help but watch and think, “Damn, these guys look like they had a fuckin’ time making this thing.” This is easily one of the best movies of 2009 so far and I’d go back to see it in a heartbeat. It’s about time those Nazis got what was coming to ’em, and I’m glad Tarantino was finally the guy to tackle the job.
Great title, too. Who cares if it’s spelled wrong.